Retirement.....how soon?
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  1. #1
    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Default Retirement.....how soon?

    I'm retiring in about 3 years and wonder if anyone else is in the same boat?

    I originally planned to work until 67 because I love what I do and the money is good. We can collect our retirement and keep working for 5 years past 62 as part of the State of Florida pension plan. I decided to go out at 62 because of my health and because I just want time to pursue other interests.

    I'm just curious how many of you are close (within 5 years) of retirement and how you visualize your life and your finances after you are no longer working. Some of the things I've done involve making a retirement budget, making sure I'm debt free before I retire, and buying major things for my condo while I'm still making good money.

    Is anyone else close to retirement?
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I'm hoping - fingers crossed - to retire around the end of 2015, so it is coming soon. I would be willing to work longer, maybe, though I am very weary of it, but I have health issues with chronic pain and really think I will be doing amazingly well to last that long.

    Money is going to be a real concern. I've been putting as much as I can into retirement accounts, and have managed to do more than I once thought would be possible, but I got a late start on retirement for a variety of reasons, all legitimate. I've done what I can. Again, for a variety of reasons social security will be less than for some. When there is no further paycheck it will be pretty scary, as it's only me with no one else to rely on for help, but what will be, will be.

    I too have been purchasing things I know I will need, and I have been, over the last few years, building up a good stash of entertainments, so I will be able to stay busy. I enjoy several hobbies, and should be able to pursue them for a long time with very minimal expense. My retirement dream is not to travel and do lots of things, or to do anything that requires new clothes, as it were, but to lead a very quiet life, pursuing my quiet interests, none of which involve much expense. So even though I will have to be watching every penny, I expect to be pretty content. I've been a homebody from birth, and being able to just be at home as much as I want - a LOT - is definitely for me a recipe for happiness. A life that would seem stripped down and exceedingly dull to a lot of people, is a highly desirable outcome in my books, and dull can at least, with a little planning, be lived pretty cheaply.

    I have just reached, or will reach in a few days, full retirement age, and I have decided to go on and begin social security, rather than waiting and getting the monthly increase for delaying it. A percentage of a little is still only a little, and probably wouldn't help that much. In the absence of a crystal ball, I simply had to choose, and thought on the whole it would be better to get that extra income now to beef up savings and be able to put more in the retirement accounts. Maybe it was the wrong decision, but it's what I finally decided to do. Since most of it will be going into the retirement accounts, the extra income shouldn't affect my taxes much.

    Medical expenses are, as for everyone, the wild card, but as far as regards predictable expenses, mine should be comparatively small, and the cost of living is pretty low in Louisiana, so what I have will stretch more than it would in a lot of locations. That's a plus. So my plan, from now until then, is to really evaluate what things I need that I should buy now, and of course, watch for good deals on those, keep an eye on the investments and gradually dial back the risk factor a bit, and just hope for the best. The time is coming when retirement will not be a choice but an imperative, and I can only do what I can do. Then - just watch and see what happens.

    I could have been better placed for this had I made different life choices, but I didn't, and I don't regret a single time I chose other values over more money. I've had a wonderful life. I'll get by. I hope. At least we have a fairly mild climate for bag ladyhood if it all falls apart - LOL!

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    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Donna,

    I can so relate to your post for a number of reasons. I live with chronic pain, too. I also live in a warm climate that is not expensive and I'm happy here. My life is simple and I've learned, by necessity, to enjoy the simple things in life. My hobbies are not expensive and I live alone, as well. I have friends but my relatives are far away (except my 77-year old brother who is here part of the year.)

    I had to make the tough choice to scale back to teaching from administration/teaching beginning July 1. It was either that or disability. I wish I had made that choice a few years ago but it is what it is, right?

    My biggest challenge is to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible AND to put more money in my liquid cash fund. As you said, medical expense is the wild card......but you'll have Social Security right away and that is a HUGE plus!
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I'm glad a real CPA thinks the social security choice wasn't a bad one. I stressed over that for a while.

    I rent, which may be one of the places where I chose other values over money, but being free has always trumped everything else, and owning a house would have felt like a huge albatross hung on my neck. Anyway, there would have been no possibility of doing it until 10 or 11 years ago, and I would have had a mortgage until death. So aside from being something I really didn't want to do, it didn't make much sense to me. I would not have been able to build up much equity and I would have had all the costs of owning a house which would have been very difficult. At the apartment, if the roof leaks someone else has to pay to have it repaired, take care of the lawn, and deal with plumbing. No regrets. My rent will go on forever, but so would mortgage payments at that point.

    Some days I think I can't possibly retire if I can keep functioning at all, and other days, more days, I'm counting the hours.

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    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    I'm a few years on the other side of retirement, so maybe my advice isn't relevant. But I think your choice of SS now is valid. I also advise those getting ready to go into retirement to be debt free (or as close as possible), and to see a financial planner/counselor. You have to be careful there in the choice, but we chose one who has really guided us into some wise decisions. Another piece of advice is to realize that many expenses do not get smaller or disappear after retirement. In fact, some can get larger. Heating and AC actually go up a bit for us as we are home more and not gone during the day. Phone, water, property taxes, food..... all stay the same. We have fewer transportation costs now and we have a much smaller clothing budget now as we don't need to dress a certain way for the job. It sounds as if the both of you have your heads on straight about how you will entertain yourselves during retirement. I, too, am happy doing my crafts, walking, reading, etc. We stay busy, but it's a busy that we engineer. I encourage you to continue doing your careful planning, so that you can enjoy retirement with no regrets.
    Spiritual:
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    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


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    Registered User PlainCash4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcompton View Post
    I'm glad a real CPA thinks the social security choice wasn't a bad one. I stressed over that for a while.

    I rent, which may be one of the places where I chose other values over money, but being free has always trumped everything else, and owning a house would have felt like a huge albatross hung on my neck. Anyway, there would have been no possibility of doing it until 10 or 11 years ago, and I would have had a mortgage until death. So aside from being something I really didn't want to do, it didn't make much sense to me. I would not have been able to build up much equity and I would have had all the costs of owning a house which would have been very difficult. At the apartment, if the roof leaks someone else has to pay to have it repaired, take care of the lawn, and deal with plumbing. No regrets. My rent will go on forever, but so would mortgage payments at that point.

    Some days I think I can't possibly retire if I can keep functioning at all, and other days, more days, I'm counting the hours.
    I totally agree with you dcompton on renting. I feel the same way. Unless I really CAN buy a house, why stress myself out over something I may not be able to keep. MY brother and sister hound me sometimes about buying a house. Meanwhile, my brother LOST his house and my sister is in the process of losing hers. go figure !

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Aside from the costs of owning a house, I simply would not be able physically to take care of it. Another consideration was that I have no family to leave it to, and it would eventually have to be disposed of - either by myself at a time when I would probably be least capable of dealing with it, or burdening a friend with overseeing the job, which is not a very friendly thing to do.

    forhisglory - I will be debt free, unless something dire happens between now and then. I only have a couple of small outstanding things now - a few hundred dollars I've been carrying on an interest free card and just pecking away at, and a computer I just had to buy that put on an interest free finance plan for a year. I will either wipe out both with the first couple of SS checks, or let them rock along and pay them off gradually, still avoiding the interest. My impulse is just to go on and get rid of them - it's an irritant having them there.

    I've been thinking already about which expenses will go up and which down. I my a/c and heating probably won't change much, because now I have finches and I keep it a pretty even temperature for them - a few degrees warmer in winter and cooler in summer than I would have to have for myself. They are also an expense that will drop out, I hope. By late summer I am thinking I will need to try to re-home them, if I can find someone I trust with them. As much as they are a joy to have, they are also becoming increasingly a burden to take care of. I could die happy never cleaning another bird cage. However, if I don't find a good place for them, I'll keep them, of course. I would do it now, but one of them is, by what I am observing, developing an abdominal tumor. A sibling died of one last summer when barely a year old, and the symptoms are identical, so I'm thinking it's a genetic thing. When it looks like he is beginning to suffer, I will have him euthanized and then try to adopt the others out.

    Food should go down, relative to now - though I realize costs in general will probably continue to rise. With an often difficult work schedule I end up eating out more than I like. There need be no eating out once I retire. Also I will be able to plan cooking and meals better and use more efficiently the food I buy. I keep some convenience foods on hand, especially frozen, that I can bring to work if the days I could cook fall on bad pain days and I just can't manage it. I will also no longer need to rely on those expensive options.

    My health insurance costs will probably go up - we have amazing insurance here at work and don't pay much for it. Transportation down, though it's pretty minimal now. I can drop some luxuries like Amazon prime. Or, it's not a luxury now. UPS delivers at the apartments in the evening when I'm at work, so I keep prime so I can know when things will come. If they don't arrive on a day off, I almost always have to use vacation time and wait for the deliveries. I'm spending a fair amount on hobbies now, but that can dwindle to almost nothing, as I said. My car is old, a 2001 Honda, but it only has about 55,000 miles on it, so it should be good to go for a long time yet.

    So I expect expenses to be about even - I can drop some things, but will have to add some costs, like internet, which won't help. I should be able to drop expenses a little; I'm just hoping they don't end up seriously going up. Then I would be in trouble.

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    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Donna, I'm glad that you mentioned health insurance. Because we retired early, we were on our own for health insurance. The school district allowed us to remain in the group plan, which gave us good group rates...... BUT.... we had to pay everything; the school no longer paid a share. That put our premium at 1/3 of our monthly pension. And of course, that didn't include copays and deductibles, etc. But now that we are on Medicare, our costs for health insurance have dropped dramatically. We are paying less than half of our former premium, and that includes our Medicare payment, our supplement payment and our Medicare drug plan. With our supplement/Medicare now, we have NO deductible and NO copay.

    I, too, have an old car: 12 years old. We have kept it well maintained and I'd like to keep it a few more years. But the reality is that it is starting to need some work, and the big question is how long should we pour money into it? I did a lot of commuting when I was working, so it's got 120,000 miles. I have the means to get another car right now and pay cash.... but something in me just balks at that. No way I'll pay interest on a car, but I guess I really want to just keep my old baby and never pay for anything else!! So I need to come to grips on when is the best time to make this change.

    On another note, I don't know if you have life insurance or not. We decided to drop ours several years ago. We have no dependents who would be needing this, and we think we have enough to cover our final expenses. So we saw no need for that expense. We do not have insurance for assisted living or nursing home care. We looked into it.... even decided at one point to buy it.... and then changed our minds.

    One expense at this time of life that we no longer have is having to get new furniture or home furnishings, dishes, pots, etc. What we have at this point will just have to be what we have for the rest of our time. We've made sure that we got sturdy items and we try to maintain them. More than likely we will need new kitchen appliances in the future, new washer and drier, new computer and new cell phones.

    Although one never knows the Lord's plans for our time on earth, Hubby and I are planning to live another 20 years in this house, which would put us into our mid 80's. At that point we probably need to move into some sort of senior housing and downsize seriously. But we're pretty sure that during the next 20 years, we will need to replace everything that has a motor or is electronic. We also know that repairs will be needed on our home during that time frame. A new roof will be inevitable, and actually will probably happen either this summer or next summer. Plumbing wears out, walls need painting, carpeting will probably have to be renewed. I'd like to keep enough stashed away to meet expenses like these , as they will definitely come at some point.

    So much to think of. I only hope that Hubby and I thought and planned wisely for this stage of life. So glad that you all are actively planning now for your future.
    Spiritual:
    "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Please... respect life.

    Financial:
    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


  10. #9
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Since I have such health insurance I deferred everything except the basic free medicare hospitalization, so I don't know what I will have to pay for that, but I know it is almost certainly going to be more than I am paying now - I work at a medical school/hospital with 5000 employees, so they have quite a bit of clout to get us a good deal.

    I have never carried life insurance. I looked at long term care policies, but they would have been extremely expensive with my medical history. Anyway, I worked through some information at that time on a .gov site, and it said if you were not certain you would be able to continue paying premiums, it might not be the best choice. Given that I have never worked high paying jobs, I certainly could not predict that, and all around, it just wasn't workable. If I had gotten one, assuming I even could, it would have been at the expense of retirement investment. Unless I die suddenly, I'm sure I will need nursing home care at some point, but the chips will simply have to fall where they may. I can only stretch the dollars so far.

    The only furniture I foresee needing to change is probably to get a new recliner down the way, and I need a new office chair. The apartment, of course, takes care of any appliance problems. They have just this week replaced a motor in the refrigerator. I like these apartments, they are in a good location. and on the lower end of the rental scale, without being really scruffy. I have no intentions of moving, though if I need to, at least it's easier than if I had a house to deal with. but moving is always expensive, so I want to stay put.

    Things will start needing to be replaced on the car, just from age if not from mileage, but as long as it's reasonable, I'm good with it. I will be driving even less once I retire, and I have kept up with the maintenance. But it is hard to know when you cross the line to putting too much into what you have vs getting another.

    I will have some electronic things too that will have be upgraded from time to time - it's the way of the world. I bought the new computer because I was one of the many still happily chugging along with Windows XP, and I have to say I'm sorry to see it go. I took a deep breath and got one with 8.1, so I would have the maximum amount of time before this happens again. The only other electronic thing I use, other than printer and scanner, are MP3 players for my audiobooks, but they aren't expensive. I don't use a cell phone or tv, and I should be able to get along with my current Kindle for quite a while. I opted out of microsoft and went with Open Office. Another couple of programs I used wouldn't run on 8.1, but I found free or inexpensive substitutes. So computer expenses are taken care of for a while.

    An expense I have now is someone to help with the housecleaning for a few hours every couple of weeks, but after retirement, I can do that less often as I will be able to do more of it myself with more time and the ability to pick the day I am most able to do it.Also, the birds are very messy and moving them out will save a lot of cleaning right there.

    Money is going to be tight, no two ways about it, but I've learned a lot on this site, and, ready or not, it will have to be done.

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    I am retired in a manner of speaking I do not work for anyone else anymore I have a small resale operation that generates a very small income each month but i am looking for new venues to expand it It keeps me busy and I enjoy it. I also rehab houses but it is getting more difficult as my health issues increase I think my next flip may be my last I applied for social security which I should receive starting next month I will be 62 on the 24th of this month ugh I decided to go out early Im betting on the longevity factor my mother has been collecting for 32 years lol. It is always hard to give up the security of a weekly check but sometimes one has to acknowledge the fact the ship has sailed

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    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Happy Social Security birthday month, Lora!
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    Thanks Kim I thought I would be bored but honestly I love retirement My Dad who didnt retire till 70 always used to say when your retired everyday is Sunday. He was right you give up a measure of security however after working all those years, the freedom that comes with every hour being your own is priceless. One of my favorite sayings is, I bought my freedom with my Frugality. It was worth every sacrifice

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    Registered User hikr00's Avatar
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    I just retired on 2/28. I'm 52 so it was early for sure. My husband has a seizure disorder and he was forced to retire due to this in 2011. He asked me to retire early so we could spend more time together because his health is so precarious (he's had brain cancer and the seizures etc) we just don't know what kind of time he has left. Granted me don't know what I'm facing either but at the moment I'm quite healthy.

    Anyway, we met with our financial planner / broker etc several times going over the feasibility of me retiring early. We are currently building a new house which we paid for in cash and we bought a new car last year in cash as well. Those are big ticket items which shouldn't need to be replaced (well, the car will but not for hopefully 10-15 years). We have no debt.

    The biggest issue for us is my health insurance. Because of DHs disability he is on Medicare. My job didn't provide health insurance so I'm paying for that on my own anyway whether I worked or retired. Our planner budgeted it all out figuring in cost of premiums as well as the other costs associated with life and gave us the figures. We were comfortable living on that income so we opted to go for it. We are enjoying ourselves immensely. I will say though that we are very low maintenance people. I love to sew and do crafts so that's really my big expense. I'm not "into" makeup, clothes, jewelry, shoes etc and DH is similar in style. So we don't have any real big ticket hobbies either (although I could definitely spend a fortune on my crafts / sewing etc but I won't allow myself too.)

    We really went over and over the papers and the figures to make sure this was a good choice for me to retire and ultimately it was. I'm loving it and so is DH.

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    Registered User ScrapStitching's Avatar
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    I sew, read, garden, attend an exercise/rehab class three times a week, cook, hang with my kids, dote on my four legged child and my husband, and I work. I like to stay busy and don't do "nothing" very well. I'm not sure I know how to retire! I like having a little money coming in and my husband (age 64) is still working full time and probably will for at least two more years.
    Donna
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    http://www.thesewingdictionary.com - Free sewing dictionary.

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    I retired at 52 - just because I wanted to!
    When I told my mother I was retiring, she asked "What will you do if you get bored?"
    My reply - "Take a nap."

    3 years ago, a company that I had previously worked for offered me a part time job (2 days a week) at a VERY good hourly rate. I took it and worked there until this past March. The extra income allowed me to do some remodeling in my home and buy some "wants" that I otherwise wouldn't have.

    I'm fully retired again and I love it! I sew, crochet, garden, read and get to visit my grandchildren often.

    I'm 60 now and plan to take Social Security at 62.

    Life is great!!

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